Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 18-19

Week 18 – Wildcard: Photographer’s Choice [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Capture an image on your terms; who, what, where, when, why, how … it’s all up to you. Caveat: You must tell us your intent.

I definitely had an intent – and a vision – for this challenge, which was to capture “a sunset in a glass.” I think it came out a bit more photoshopped than I would have liked, but the overall effect is there.

Dogwood Week 18

Week 19 – Vision: Edge Cut Sun [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Having an edge cut through the sun looks nice, or having the sun rising over a line or diagonal within the photo. Stop down the aperture to create a starburst. Continue reading


Eating Out in Fes, Morocco

I’ve already posted about where we stayed in Fes, but now to tell you about where we ate – with one disclaimer: on the last day, we got quite ill. We don’t know what exactly made us ill – the Boy got it worse than me, but we mostly ate the same things, and nothing was particularly suspicious. Still, a good note that Morocco is one of those places you might be likely to get a bout of traveler’s disease (the worst of ours lasted about 24-36 hours), and that it’s possible one of the below places brought it on…


Riad Dar Bensouda

I don’t have any photos of breakfast, but we ate every day in our hotel Riad Dar Bensouda, and they put out an impressive (and varied) spread of eggs, fruits, breads, cheeses, and more, along with juices and the ubiquitous sweet mint tea (free). Continue reading

Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 16-17

 Week 16 – Technical: Portrait Lighting [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6]
Whether Butterfly, Rembrandt, Split, or Loop Lighting, choose the technique which best flatters your subject.

I was traveling and not in a great setup to take actual human portraits the week of this challenge, but while on a walk I stumbled across a bunch of deer and the evening light fell in such a way that I decided that this counted.

Dogwood 2018 Week 16

Week 17 – Creative: Humor [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
Laughter is the best medicine. Make us laugh. Continue reading

Where We Stayed: Fes

I’m going to have a lot more to say about Fes, Morocco (speaking of which, is it Fes or Fez? I feel like the one I’m using is more accurate, but just doesn’t look right to me, so I’m torn), but I figured I’d kick off by sharing where we stayed for the three nights we spent in the city. Note that we booked through Chase, and the pricing reflects what we paid – make sure to check on your own.

Riad Dar Bensouda
14 Zkak El Bghel, Elquettanine, Fès 30202, Morocco
$95/night for a Standard Room

Riad Dar Bensouda

Morocco is a truly incredible country, and while we did have some struggles while visiting (more on that to come), it was an awesome experience. Also awesome – you can get truly beautiful accommodations in Morocco for very little money Continue reading

Eating Out: Honeymee

As someone who loves honey (I’ve been known to eat spoonfuls of it on occasion…sorry-not-sorry), I’ve always been intrigued by Honeymee, a soft serve chain establishment whose signature offering is “true milk ice cream with a 100% natural honeycomb chip.”

So, when we happened to be lunching on Sawtelle recently, I insisted we make a post-lunch stop at the Honeymee location down the block.


Honeymee has simple & trendy look, with wood shelves running along one wall sporting blocks of “beeswax” and jars of honey artistically spaced out. Continue reading

Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 12-15

Week 12 – Technical: Macro [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6]
Life is in the details. Get in close and show us the details we usually miss. You don’t need a macro lens to shoot a macro shot.

I don’t, in fact, have a macro lens – I do have a zoom lens, however, which I used to get a unique angle on a tiny potted evergreen in an Air BnB we were staying in for a wedding in Rhode Island. Some post-production on my phone (love the app A Color Story) completed the shot.

Dogwood 2018 Week 12

Week 13 – Creative: Leading Lines [Shot with iPhone 6s 4.15mm f/22]
Back by popular demand, use lines to lead the viewer to your subject. Continue reading

Out and About in Seville

After our first couple of days in Madrid, we moved on to our other Spanish destination – Seville (or Sevilla). Since I visited the city in college, I have loved Seville, and this trip was no exception – it’s smaller and a little older-feeling (in the best way) than Madrid, but there’s still plenty to do and see, and the winding streets got us (very slightly) more prepared for our time in Morocco’s web of alleyways. We spent our two nights there hitting the major sights, strolling, and eating.

Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol

When we first arrived, we settled into our hotel – the perfectly nice Hotel Bécquer ($135/night for a Standard Double) which had a great rooftop view of the city – and set off on a pre-dinner wander to secure flamenco tickets for the following day. Before long, we came upon the impressive Metropol Parasol (free on the main level, 3 euros to ascend), a wooden mushroom-esque structure that lends shade to a large plaza, has walking paths on its top (we didn’t make it up there, however), and Roman ruins in its basement. Continue reading

Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 10-11

Week 10 – Vision: Selective Color [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
I know, I know. Yuck. Selective color can be cringeworthy, however, when done right, it brings compelling focus to the subject.

I didn’t really plan ahead for this challenge, and instead played around with selective color filters in Lightroom on some shots I’d taken on a trip to Lake Arrowhead with some friends until I got a result I liked (the lovely Jen La Bella, a talented LA event designer, served as my model).

Dogwood 2018 Week 10

Week 11 – Composition: Negative Space [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6]
 Minimize the composition to isolate your subject. The composition should be simple, thereby drawing your viewer to the subject. Continue reading

Out and About in Madrid

If you’ve been following along with some of my recent blog posts, you’ll know that our last big vacation was to Spain & Madrid (with some layover stops along the way). Beginning with Madrid, I’ve covered where we stayed, what we ate, and one particularly decadent meal. Now for the final piece of the puzzle – what we did!

the plazas of madrid

We are wanderers by nature, and Madrid is a beautiful city, so we did a lot of walking around and taking in that beauty (notoriously, on my first trip to the city as an 18-year-old, my best friend and traveling companion kept having to stop me from walking into the street as I stared blissfully up at all the gorgeous architecture). Continue reading